America’s uncapped XI highlights the strength in depth of the USMNT

Every World Cup has a neutral’s favourite; a team that perhaps upsets the odds or shows genuine love for the beautiful game, eleven players that offer you a moment of joy in FIFA’s corrupt circus. And the 2014 tournament belonged to the United States of America.

Not fancied in a group containing Ghana, Germany and Portugal, the USA managed to qualify in second-place, which included an undeserved and narrow 1-0 defeat to eventual winners Germany – Jurgen Klinsmann’s side were the better team for 90 minutes.

It felt like something of a turning point in US soccer, with the world of football realising that US soccer was so much more than the odd household name of Brad Friedel or Clint Dempsey.

With the 2018 World Cup fast approaching, could we see any of these current uncapped Americans running out in Russia?

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The continual growth of Major League Soccer, fuelled by the addition of Minnesota United and Atlanta United to the new season, has seen the standard of play increase greatly – how long until the league gets the respect and credit it deserves?

We aren’t far off from signings like DeAndre Yedlin to Tottenham Hotspur – where he was sadly criminally underused – becoming the norm rather than one-offs.